- The workplace can support wellbeing in many ways and as wellness programs continue to reveal their value.
- Indian coworking space, GoWork India offers a ‘Frustration Zone’ in its Gurgaon space.
- The Frustration Zone can be used by members to de-stress; it’s equipped with old devices and a punching bag.
There are break rooms, and then there are ‘break’ rooms. GoWork India has the latter and as far as wellness-focused amenities go, it’s pretty unusual.
The Gurgaon (Gurugram) coworking space boasts a healthy list of wellness amenities including a Meditation Room, Gym & Spa, Medical Services and even a Basketball Court (yes, it’s a huge space).
There’s also a ‘Frustration Zone’.
This particular amenity is described as a soundproof room filled with old computers, laptops, punching bags and old car parts. Members can head into the Frustration Zone and vent their pent-up frustration by pulling on a pair of gloves and swinging a plastic hammer at anything inside the room.
It’s a pretty novel way to expel negative energy and de-stress. But does it work?
According to interviews conducted by the Economic Times, reviews are mixed. Hora, a startup co-founder based at GoWork, says it’s fun and helps him leave his frustration at the office. But another member, Sharma, believes that anyone who needs to smash things to relieve tension probably has a serious problem in their company.
GoWork’s Sudeep Singh believes that the room helps members to ease stress, which is a necessary ritual for people feeling under pressure. Lohit Bhatia, CEO of staffing at Ikya Human Capital Solutions, said that breaking things might be a way for people to indulge their animal spirit in a safe way. “Why do people do kickboxing or martial arts? It’s a non-destructive and non-criminal way of spending energy.”
Whether or not this style of ‘break room’ appeals to your own animal nature, the important takeaway is that GoWork is one of thousands of flexible spaces that are now investing heavily in the wellbeing of their members.
With workers spending upwards of 8 hours per day in the office — much of which is physically sedentary yet mentally demanding — wellness has become a key element of workplace design, and a combination of acceptance, awareness and publicity relating to workers’ health concerns has triggered widespread action.
Companies are now actively investing in workplace wellness initiatives and flexible workspace operators are following suit. Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Capital Trends report, ‘Well-being: A strategy and a responsibility’, has found that many corporate firms recognise the importance of wellbeing and now consider it part of their business strategy, putting in place programs for financial wellness, mental health, healthy diet and exercise, mindfulness, sleep, stress management, and more.
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It’s easy to see why wellness tops the priority list. After all, what’s more important than personal health? On the corporate side, an employee who is healthy and happy is more likely to be engaged and productive. According to a survey of U.S. employers taken over a four-year period from 2015 to 2018, almost 4 in 5 employers said their workplace wellness programmes positively impacted their workers’ health, productivity and performance.
Wellbeing has become a major priority for flexible workspaces, too.
Natural light and ergonomic furniture are basic yet vital elements for a healthier workplace, while wellness-focused design and building measures, such as placement of stairwells, can encourage workers to be more active during the day. As for specific amenities, these range from gym facilities and meditation classes to the provision of healthy snacks and even nap pods in the workplace.
Of course not every coworking space has the capacity to introduce fitness amenities or advanced wellness techniques (or Frustration Zones for that matter). Indeed, at over 800,000 sq ft, GoWork makes the most of its space by providing a diverse range of amenities and services. But smaller spaces are running wellness programmes too; a popular approach is to invite local specialists, such as reflexologists or nutritionists, to run treatments and workshops in the space on a regular basis.
Suggested Reading: 5 Workplace Wellness Programs That Are Easy To Implement
The workplace can support wellbeing in many ways and as wellness programs continue to reveal their value, 2019 is likely to see an acceleration in such initiatives as more companies seek to offer a unique workplace experience.
For coworking members and workplace occupiers, this is only a positive factor. For flexible workspace owners and operators, the quest for healthy, happy, community-focused environments will undoubtedly lead to more innovative and novel wellness initiatives for the benefit of members and the longevity of memberships (although it remains to be seen whether these programmes will dare to include, or perhaps top, a Frustration Zone).